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re: st: Wishlist - Intellisense-like real time context for Stata programming


From   "Airey, David C" <david.airey@vanderbilt.edu>
To   "statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   re: st: Wishlist - Intellisense-like real time context for Stata programming
Date   Fri, 13 May 2011 18:55:01 -0500

.

Rstudio (www.rstudio.org) just released a free IDE to R that has this feature if I understand what you are asking for. You type a partial or full command and type tab, and up pops some text offering choices for completion and with each choice some syntax and a little help text. It does seem useful, as a quick substitute for going to a manual page, for command line use. Going to the manual page for help usually comes in two situations for me. One is that I really do need to read the man page more completely. The other is I just need reminding of an option or two. The tab completion in Rstudio is really only useful for the latter.

Stata offers a quick trip to a full dialog box via the -db yourcommand-, arguably just as quick and more complete to tab completion popups. to an even easier interface, that also echos the command. I often find this an excellent substitute for the kind of feature implemented in Rstudio.

-Dave

> Naturally, anyone can make suggestions. 
> 
> My own guess is that this is most unStataish and has negligible probability of being implemented as part of official Stata. If it is implemented, no doubt there would be a setting 
> 
> . set popup off
> 
> Not implementing it would not of course be a denial that Stata can be tough to master, but would reflect a StataCorp preference to provide support in other styles. 
> 
> Clearly, I don't speak for StataCorp; this is just an empirical prediction based on following Stata for a fair while. 
> 
> Other than when promising bug fixes and announcing precisely what's in the next release (date still not known, so please don't ask), StataCorp tend not to make promises or comment on implementation ideas. 
> 
> Nick 
> n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 
> 
>> Matthew Parkes
>> 
>> I guess that this may well have been covered, but I thought it was worth asking. I just wanted to voice an idea I had, as a suggestion to Stata developers.
>>  
>> 
>> I've been learning Stata for around 6-7 months now, and I find the online support and user-written programs a really help in getting to grips with Stata quickly. However, one thing that I thought could be really handy to implement in successive versions (although I'm not sure how much of a task this may be) would be some sort of reflective autocorrection, like Microsoft's Intellisense in Visual Studio. I found that the little popups you get in Visual Studio to really help when writing out unfamiliar commands, and speed up learning of code massively. 
>> 
>> 
>> I'm currently using Notepad++ as my text editor, and am aware that other solutions may have already been implemented (for example, in Emacs maybe?), however I'm not too sure if they exist, and if they do, how to implement them.
>> 
>>  
>> 
>> As I said, this was just a suggestion, so any information/help/ideas would be great.
>> 
>> 

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